COLUMBUS, Ohio — Major changes are expected to come to Ohioans who use the homestead exemption to reduce their property taxes. The changes were made in the state’s fiscal budget, and it’s the first set of changes in over a decade.
A homestead exemption allows Ohioans who are considered low income, disabled or are at least 65-years-old to reduce their property taxes.
Under the rule, Ohioans who meet the criteria do not have to pay taxes on the first $25,000 of their home’s value. Disabled veterans can get an enhanced homestead exemption which protects the first $50,000 of their home’s value from taxes. However, that value is changing lawmakers included a provision, in the budget that ties the homestead exemption to the rate of inflation.
"For every Ohioan," said Rep. Steve Demetriou, R-Bainbridge Twp. "Especially our seniors and disabled veterans. No one has been able to script escape the grip of crushing inflation."
Ohioans who are using homestead exemptions could also see an increase in savings each year. It is something local auditors say will not negatively impact other homeowners. It is the first change to the homestead exemption ever since 2007.
"The savings is paid for by state revenue," David Thomas, Ashtabula County Auditor said, "by the state government and not by other property owners in the taxing district. That way, we're able to keep rates lower by helping our senior citizens and our disabled veterans."
"This this is beginning the conversation of reforming the homestead," Rep. Thomas Hall, R-Madison Twp.
Lawmakers and county auditors say the rising costs due to inflation can be unfair to the seniors, veterans, and disabled Ohioans. Calling this budget provision a step in the right direction.
"I do look forward to going forward again," said Craig Snodgrass, President of the County Auditors Association of Ohio said. "Of the savings currently saved a lot of our seniors four or $500 a year in taxes and that is substantial."
The change will go into into effect on Oct. 3.